Wouldn't you think this man is just an ordinary tourist on holiday? Ah but he's not, he's a member of the Commons Health Committee who, along with another seven, flew 11.000 business class miles to Auckland, New Zealand to find out how New Zealand's heath services cope with people who drink too much. Five labour MPs, one LibDem and one Independent spent up to five nights in upmarket hotels. The committee chairman Kevin Barron (pictured above) stayed on for a holiday at the end of the official programme last Thursday. This MPs holiday cost the taxpayers £70,000 but of course there will be extra expenses not doctored into that amount.
The Mail on Sunday quotes MP Jim Dowd, who did not stay on after the official visit, as saying,"I'm not interested in whether you think it's a good case or not, to be quite frank. We've done a lot of work looking at what's happening in New Zealand on issues ranging from alcohol abuse to patient safety to social care." Then he hung up.
As for them travelling business class that has to stop. Our military, regardless of rank, have been told they must travel second class to save money and that's been for some time now. These MPs are the UK's representatives who refuse to permit our senior military officers from travelling to the likes of Australia and the US anything other than second class to attend extremely important conferences. Our military are thrust into international meetings with jetlag and exhaustion but still manage to do their job.
All this bunch of thieves had to do was take a train from London to Glasgow and they'd have soon had an education in our own government's alcohol abuse research. Another case for saying the quicker we're independent the better.